Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Correlates of unintended birth among low-income Hispanic immigrants at high risk for depression

TitleCorrelates of unintended birth among low-income Hispanic immigrants at high risk for depression
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChristensen, AL, Perry, DF, Le, HN, Ahmed, S
JournalJ Immigr Minor Health
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number1557-1920 (Electronic) 1557-1912 (Linking)
Accession Number21240558
Keywords*Poverty, Acculturation, Adolescent, Adult, Central America/ethnology, Depressive Disorder, Major/*ethnology/*etiology, District of Columbia, Emigrants and Immigrants/*psychology, Female, Humans, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Unplanned/*ethnology/psychology, Questionnaires, Risk Assessment, Young Adult

Hispanic women, a large and growing ethnic minority group in the U.S., have an unintended birth rate over twice the national average. However, little is known about unintended birth among Hispanic immigrants. The purpose of this study is to determine the sociodemographic, including immigration-related, correlates of unintended birth in this population. Data were collected as part of a preventive intervention among pregnant Hispanic immigrants at increased risk for depression (n = 215). The correlates of women's self-reported pregnancy intention (intended, mistimed, unwanted) were examined using multinomial logistic regression. Similar to nationally representative findings, unintended birth was more common among younger women, single women and women not cohabiting with their partners, and women with more children. Additionally, women who had immigrated to the U.S. less than 1 year ago had almost a 4 times greater risk of a mistimed birth (RRR = 3.82, P < 0.05) compared to women who immigrated 1-4 years ago. Women with greater social support scores had a reduced chance of mistimed (RRR = 0.98, P < 0.10) and unwanted (RRR = 0.97, P < 0.05) birth. The findings have implications for development of effective and culturally appropriate family planning programs. They suggest that interventions should target young women, women who have achieved their desired family size, and very recent immigrants.